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Proverbs and Proverbial Expressions in the German Works of Martin Luther

Edited by Wolfgang Mieder and Dorothee Racette

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Wolfgang Mieder

The publication of a doctoral dissertation over fifty years after its original submission is an uncommon occurrence. That is the case, however, with the hitherto unpublished Ph.D. thesis Proverbs and Proverbial Expressions in the German Works of Martin Luther (1942) of James Clarke Cornette, Jr. He wrote his dissertation in the Department of Germanic Languages at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the early years of the Second World War under the mentorship of Professor Richard Jente (1888-1952). Clearly unintimidated by dozens of large volumes of Martin Luther's writings, Cornette set out to locate and annotate the reformer's proverbial language. When all was said and done, he had registered 4,987 proverbs, proverbial expressions, proverbial comparisons, and wellerisms in Luther's works, a literal gold mine for anybody interested in the history of proverbial speech in general and that of the sixteenth century in particular. Surely the time is ripe for this invaluable resource to be made available to students and scholars throughout the world.